Protected bicycle lanes (cycle tracks) as proposed for N Street in the Downtown Master Plan are a great idea for many reasons. These lanes have had great success in other cities across the globe. They have been shown to be safe (28 percent lower injury rate in Montreal per a study from Harvard and about a 50 percent reduction in accidents for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists in New York City), effective (increases bicycle traffic and reduces automobile congestion), and may actually help alleviate parking shortages even with the loss of numerous parking spots by encouraging folks to ride downtown versus drive an automobile.
Also, these lanes will provide a safe route out of traffic for those not comfortable riding the on-street bicycle lanes, such as families with children.
Downtown Lincoln needs a safe east/west bicycle route. N Street is ideal because it is unidirectional and is wide enough to accommodate a protected bicycle lane with minimal loss of on-street parking. Lincoln has been gaining national recognition as a bicycle-friendly city. Protected bicycle lanes may help attract and maintain an active and vibrant demographic.
I urge the City Council to approve the proposed protected bicycle lane in the Downtown Master Plan on July 9.